A career prosecutor with experience in Washington, D.C., and across Western Virginia has been appointed the region’s new U.S. Attorney.
Chris Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
He will head prosecutions in the Western District of Virginia, which is headquartered in Roanoke and stretches from the Lynchburg area to far Southwest Virginia and north to Winchester.
“We were deeply impressed by their exceptional backgrounds,” the Democratic senators said of Kavanaugh and Jessica Aber, who was appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Kavanaugh most recently was an assistant U.S. attorney in Charlottesville while on duty in Washington, D.C., where he served as senior counsel to the U.S. deputy attorney general.
With the U.S. Attorney’s office since 2014, Kavanaugh has practiced before every judge in the Western District, Warner and Kaine said. Before that, he was an assistant federal prosecutor for seven years in Washington, D.C.
His experience includes the prosecution of white supremacists involved in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and, earlier while in the nation’s capital, four private security contractors involved in a massacre in Iraq.
Kavanaugh will replace Thomas Cullen, who became a federal judge last year.
Aber, a federal prosecutor based in Richmond, has handled financial fraud, violent crime and child exploitation cases. From 2015 to 2016, she served on a detail assignment as counsel to the assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Department of Justice.